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Two missing, 10 rescued after kayakers go over Virginia dam

Heath Korvola/Getty Images

(RICHMOND, Va.) — Two women are missing after a group of 12 kayakers became stranded and then went over Bosher’s Dam in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday afternoon.

Ten kayakers were rescued, including nine rescued by authorities and one self-rescue, after the incident on the James River, according to Richmond Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeffrey Segal.

The incident took place around 3 p.m. and rescue boats entered the water at 3:22 p.m., Segal said. The dam has a 12-foot drop.

The missing kayakers were later identified by the Henrico County Police as Lauren Winstead and Sarah Erway.

Henrico County Police Division spokesman Lt. Matthew Pecka said Tuesday that multiple agencies responded to assist in the search between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., searching from the Bosher Dam to Powhite Parkway along the James River. Agencies used drones, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and inflatable vessels in their efforts, Pecka said. The search will resume Wednesday.

The rescue operation to search for the missing women ceased Monday night because it was getting dark, Segal had said.

It’s unclear if all the kayakers knew each other, according to the assistant chief, and if they were all physically inside the kayaks at the time of the emergency.

It’s also unknown where the two missing women went missing, Segal said. Their last known location was where most of the kayakers were rescued.

The operation is still classified as a rescue and not a recovery, Segal added.

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